In order to provide accident-free travels and stop trains collision, Railway Board is all set to implement new security system Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) in the entire rail network in the country, including on trains in the city’s suburban rail network.
Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) is an advanced, sophisticated and precised on-board train warning and collision prevention systems mostly popular in European countries. It prevents the breach of red signals and automatically brings a train to a halt if it comes within a certain proximity of another train on the same track.
The existing Auxiliary Warning System (AWS), installed in suburban section of both Central and Western Railways also does the same job. First it starts making a beeping sound if a train overshoots a red signal, and if not shut by the motorman, then the automatic brakes are activated to bring the train to a stop. However, it completely fails when a train comes proximity to another train from the back. this was evident at Mahim station in August 2009, when an Andheri-bound local train rammed into the rear of a stationary train at platform 1, after the motorman applied the brakes a little too late.
In TCAS, this issue has been fixed. It automatically activates the brakes if it detects any problem . It will be fitted with a Global Positioning System (GPS) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to monitor everything. TCAS will control railway stations, signaling systems and trains, which will include suburban, long-distance, goods, diesel and electric trains.
Whenever TCAS detects a dangerous situation, it first reduces the train’s speed and identify the nearest signal within the range of 200 meters with the help of RFID. It then ensures that the train stops close to this signal.
The railways have already begun the initial trial of this safety mechanism on the South Central Railway section, which officials’ claim is a success.